If there is one thing that Matabeleland should by now have learnt from Zimbabwean independence and its politics, it is that life has no compassion towards victims. Attempting to build Matabeleland from a platform of victimhood is a guaranteed way of setting ourselves for failure. Victimhood is only a refuge of cowards. Matabeleland has a choice as a nation, either make excuses or take control but we cannot have both. We can either continue scattering blame around for every failure to date or take full responsibility and take control of our destiny.
We certainly do not and must never take responsibility for Gukurahundi but using it as the reason for our failures is an excuse that has now run its full course. Endless blame of our circumstances on everything else but ourselves is an inevitable route to victimhood; at some point we will have to take responsibility for our circumstances, and that point is now! Excuses may make some in Matabeleland feel better but excuses have never been building blocks for success. Only taking full ownership of our historical and present failures will give Matabeleland complete control of its destiny; our history must not be allowed to interfere with our destiny.
Matabeleland must start shaping itself to what it should be. The choices we make now are our responsibility; Matabeleland’s socio-political morality must be Matabeleland’s construct and no one else. Zimbabwean and ZANU PF politics of tribalism should never be allowed to determine Matabeleland’s socio-political narrative. Wallowing in a victim status dilutes our potential to change both ourselves and our circumstances. As long as our focus remains ZANU PF and as long as we continue to blame all of our problems on Zimbabwean flawed institutions driven by tribalism, nepotism and arrogance our circumstances will remain unchanged.
Our indignation and focus needs to be redirected towards ourselves for not being what we are capable of being. We can no longer afford excusing failure and risk condemning future Matabele generations to a culture of perpetually low expectations due to our ongoing fear of standing up to the manipulation of Zimbabwean politics. Leadership is about taking responsibility and not building a good case for excusing failure. Our focus now should be on progress and our potential as opposed to building roadblocks through a litany of excuses.
While the finger has been pointing at Harare, we have taken our eye off scoundrels from within. We have Matabele politicians misappropriating people’s trust by advancing selfish personal political interests at the expense of Matabeleland progress. Some of these individuals are by their actions (or inactions) complicit in the invasion of Matabeleland’s socioeconomically significant land by ZANU PF thugs.
Uncomfortable as it may sound, the biggest barrier to Matabeleland progress is no longer ZANU PF and Gukurahundi but eternal excuses. Worrying about problems plaguing our region without taking steps to confront them is a surrender to evil. Only action will change Matabeleland. Matabeleland needs to start taking ownership and control of her destiny.